13 killed in 2 days of shootouts in southern Mexico town; mayor urges residents to stay home


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ACAPULCO, Mexico — Two days of gun battles in a southern Mexican town have left 13 people dead, officials said Thursday.

Six gunmen and one state police officer died in the Guerrero state mountain town of Chilapa late Wednesday, the state prosecutor's office said. Four officers also were wounded when the gunmen apparently attacked a police station.

On Tuesday, five gunmen and one woman died in another gun battle in the town, located about 70 miles northeast of Acapulco in an area where drug gangs are battling for turf.

The mayor of Chilapa, Francisco Garcia Gonzalez, told residents to remain in their homes because of the shootings on the town's streets. He also discouraged residents from going out at night

The largely rural area is known as a prime growing region for opium poppies. Violence in the region has led some towns in the area to form "community police" vigilante groups.

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